Word Count: 3578
Characters: Castiel, Crowley, Meg, Sam, Dean, Bobby, Garth, mentions of Balthazar and Dick Roman
Pairings: Castiel/Crowley, Castiel/Meg for .45 seconds, mentions of Wincest (but it's out of Crowley's mouth, can ya trust him?)
Tags: noir con men AU, nudity, fade-to-black smut scene (yes I'm warning you before I tease you), pre-fic character death
Author's notes: The author would like to apologize for the fact this fic seems like there should be more to it. Turns out the idea I had might've been far more suited for a Big Bang, where it could run rampant for many, many words and not be restrained by a 4k min. Instead it reads choppy and leaves you wanting more (the last part confirmed by my teammates). Maybe one day I'll expand upon the fic and make it better.
Castiel was never fond of going to bars. He didn’t like the atmosphere for starters. The men tended to be vulgar and rude once a little alcohol flowed through their system, and sometimes fights broke out. Women were always propositioning him, and it made him uncomfortable. All the smoke in the air made the place seem like it was constantly covered in fog, and it was brutal on his lungs. Not to mention he hated getting drunk in the first place. He could do with a few beers, but not much more than that. It wasn’t so much he didn’t like the feeling of being drunk (which was why he would let himself get buzzed) but rather that he loathed the headaches in the morning. Tonight though was an exception.
He was getting drunk in honor of his fallen partner, Balthazar.
At least he told himself it was in honor. To be honest about it, Castiel was getting drunk because he couldn’t think of a better way to cope with his feelings about the situation. It hurt too much.
Castiel was gulping down his third shot, flinching at how the liquor burned his throat so unlike the beer he was used to consuming, when a woman came to him with thick and obviously bleached blonde hair, scarlet lips, and a dress that may have hugged her body a little too tight, but at least it wasn’t as revealing as what the local prostitutes tended to wear. “You’re looking pretty down there, Clarence.”
“I think you may have mistaken me for someone else. My name is Castiel, not Clarence.”
“Relax, it’s just a nickname. Though hooch and a sour disposition don’t blend too well.”
“Not very well.”
“I’ve been working with him for, what has it been . . . five years now. Not easy when it’s only been the two of you against the world.”
“Now why’s that?”
Castiel wasn’t sure if he should trust this woman. He didn’t even know her name. The alcohol must’ve been kicking in though, because he thought to heck with it. “We were grifters.”
“Whoa boy, don’t say that any louder now. Never know when a copper may be around.”
“Sorry . . .”
“I get it. It’s not easy to make an honest living these days, is it? After all, my father was a gangster in his time before he was shot.”
“I know loss, and drinking your sorrows isn’t gonna help.”
“Balthazar would always take me to local bars whenever we scored. I never liked it, but I went along with him anyways. I’d feel bad if I didn’t. Balthazar showed me what it was really like to be a con man. I was trying some grifting on my own, but then after one I attempted to pull, he grabbed me from behind, pulled me into the alley, and told me my technique was sloppy. It all went from there. Five years of it, me and him. Quite a success we made.”
“I see . . . Well, Clarence, my act’s up in thirty, I should be preparing.”
“Oh, a canary!”
“Yes, a canary.”
“I bet you have a pretty voice.”
“As I’ve been told.”
“I guess I’ll see you from the crowd, umm . . . ?”
With a graceful, yet slightly seductive air, Meg picked herself up off the barstool and began to waltz away. Castiel watched her go, admiring the beauty of her from the back. He had to admit, she was a looker. Maybe a little sex could help him cope as well . . .?
He wasn’t able to finish that train of thought as someone sat down in the same seat Meg was just in. “She was right you know, you could’ve been a little quieter about the info you were spilling,” came the stranger’s husky, British – British? – voice.
“Who are you?” Castiel asked before downing another shot. The man was certainly older than him, probably around ten years or so. His hair was short, thin, dark, yet looked soft to the touch. His hazel eyes glimmered in such a way to match the slight smirk his mouth was shaped into. A light layer of facial hair had grown, but it didn’t look unkempt on him like it probably would on most other men. Finally, he was dressed impeccably, in a suit that Castiel knew he could’ve never afforded, even with the money from his more successful cons. Whoever he was, he oozed an air of confidence, importance, and seemed to demand respect.
The man leaned in closely and whispered into Castiel’s ear, “Crowley.”
Castiel nearly dropped the shot glass in his hand as he realized who was sitting beside him. This wasn’t just any person. No, this was the man that Balthazar originally teamed up with. Castiel had heard so many tales of jobs they pulled together before Balthazar wanted out of the partnership. It was mostly due to the fact that they eventually developed different styles. Crowley was a master of the long con. When it came down to it, this man was a legend. In fact, he was given the moniker the King of Hell by admirers considering he caused so much hell for his victim’s lives. Hell in the form of the loss of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars. Balthazar on the other hand preferred the shorter cons he had realized. In fact, when Castiel asked if they could try a more elaborate one, he got a response of “Look, Cassie, I get your interest in the long con. I do. But it’s far too much work. Yes, it does get a good pay if done right, but if you mess up, all that work gets you nowhere. Could land you in the big house actually. I’ve seen it happen. Shorter cons are less hassle, a steadier guarantee of a cash flow, and give more time to appreciate all of life’s pleasures since you aren’t always on the job. It’s just a better lifestyle.”
Crowley chuckled as he watched Castiel stumble with the glass. “I know, I’m a legend. Getting flustered in my presence happens all the time. Doesn’t help that you’re so obviously drunk.”
“Well, you try losing –“
“I lost a partner as well, you don’t see me drowning my sorrows.”
“I normally don’t indulge in drink this much.”
“Good, I was starting to have some doubts about letting you work with me if this was how you actually acted.”
“There’s nothing to worry about, I don’t – Did I hear that correctly?”
“You learned from Balthazar. He’s good, and I should know. Wouldn’t have agreed to work with him if that was the case.”
“So you think I’m good because he was?”
“There’s that. There’s also the fact that when I had inquired about Balthazar a while back, I heard many tales about an up and coming grifter. A young man named Castiel. The stories they told about you, they were impressive. You know pretty well that we con men aren’t afraid of a little risk. That’s why I want to take a chance on you.”
Castiel honestly didn’t know what to say. Well, actually, he did. He wanted to say yes, he just couldn’t find the proper words to say it. So he just stared wide eyed at the living legend.
“Well, that’s a yes.” Of course. A good grifter can read people like a book, and Crowley would be no exception. “Now, have you bothered to figure out who it was that sent the torpedo after Balthazar? Or have you been too busy trying to give yourself hangovers every night?”
“I haven’t been getting drunk every night, Crowley. This is more of a tribute to his favorite bar,” Castiel said, using the lie he told himself to make it seem like he wasn’t spiraling downhill after losing his best friend.
“Ah. I see.” If Castiel wasn’t drunk, he’d be able to notice the way Crowley’s wording didn’t mean that he saw. It meant “Nice try, but that’s not why you’re here.” But the kid was obviously mourning. He’d leave it be. “Must’ve found this place after our split. Don’t really remember him stopping by here often.”
“But back to my question, do you even know who’s behind it?”
“No. I couldn’t even tell you who the hit man was. I wasn’t even at the scene of the crime.”
“Well, I have a pretty good team in terms of garnering information. The second I heard Balthazar had been shot, I sent them out to dig up as much as they could. I can’t tell you who he is, not here. But I can tell you that he’s our target.”
“We’re going after him?”
“I was going to go after him whether or not I brought you along. Hadn’t made up my mind at that point. Then I realized this would be a good con for you. It will teach you not just the long con, because I’m pretty sure Balthazar wouldn’t have ever done one with you-“
“No, we haven’t.”
“But it’ll also teach you a valuable skill that some grifters just don’t have. Restraint.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that in a con like this, your emotions might take over. You might face the man behind it all, become so blindly angered at him, and blow everything. A good con man cannot let that happen. Not only do you have to be a good actor to convince your mark you’re the character you say you are, but you have to be able to push aside any feelings you may have towards him. I’ve had to play the role of being the right-hand man of someone I really loathed considering he was about to endanger the lives of the people in my neighborhood. I could’ve lashed out at him, but I didn’t. That wasn’t what my character would do. Eventually it all worked out like a charm, and he was locked up. Still is. Life sentence. He’d have to have a pretty good break-out strategy to ever be seen again.”
“You’re willing to trust someone who’s getting drunk over the loss of their partner to hold back his emotions?”
“You said it yourself, this is just tribute. Come on, make the man who took Balthazar away from us feel crippling loss? You won’t want to blow it.”
“Fine. I’m in.”
When Castiel had first met Crowley, he was far, far too much in shock that he was talking to Crowley of all people that he hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t until their second meeting in a backroom of some bar (that also might’ve been a whorehouse just going by some of the moaning he heard passing one of the other backrooms) that he did.
Crowley was nothing but raw sex appeal.
It probably didn’t help that today was reaching record highs for July. Sure Crowley came into the meeting and sat down at the large round table filled with other people (whom Castiel quickly realized were members for his team) in another highly expensive suit, this time wearing a fedora on top even, but once his butt was planted in a chair, he stripped off as many layers as he could. “Why can’t I just waltz around Chicago like this on a day like today? But no, I have to keep up appearances.”
Castiel didn’t flaunt around his homosexual tendencies like a badge of pride. He was often ashamed whenever such feelings for the same sex flared up. This actually was even more shameful. This man right here was supposed to be taking him under his wing. He never ever could see himself being more than just friends with Balthazar when all they had to be was partners in crime. Castiel would never want to get him in bed.
Yet here he was, lusting for someone that he shouldn’t in more ways than one.
“So, you all know why we’re here, correct?” Crowley began, immediately taking charge. Of course. Why anyone else would be was strange. Even the man beside him who was obviously a good deal taller than him didn’t even seem like he could lead this group.
“Yes, Crowley,” said man spoke, a gentleness to his tone that was quite unexpected for someone of his size.
“You didn’t have to answer that, Moose.”
Moose? Castiel knew some con men took on some strange names, but Moose?
“Before you explain this con out to us, could you care to explain what Tax Accountant over here is doing?” demanded the man beside “Moose”, taller as well, but not as much, and was pretty rough around the edges. He looked less the part of a grifter and more the part of a hit man. A bodyguard. Not that he was even the strongest looking guy in the room, but he just didn’t carry himself in the way that con men often did. “I don’t even know this guy!”
“This is Castiel, Balthazar’s pupil for the last five years. I’ve taken it upon myself to show him the ropes of the long con.”
“Crowley, you’re insane! Bringing in someone who’s never done this before on a revenge mission?”
“Unlike you, Dean, I’ve heard about Cas and the things he can do. I trust him.”
“Sam, Bobby, Garth, are you even hearing this?”
Oh. “Moose” was Sam. He could tell just by the direction his head went with each name. Bobby was the older man on the team. He looked like he would’ve been a valuable source of knowledge. The type of person you turned to if you wanted to double check if you were using the right con on someone. Or to double check the specifics to be sure you weren’t royally screwing up. And Garth…Garth looked like a straggler. But then again, whenever Balthazar used to introduce Castiel to his fellow grifting friends, a lot of people looked at him with disbelief and said “But you look far too honest to be in this line of work, son.” And then he’d proceed to show them there was a reason he was in this line of work. Maybe Garth had more to offer than he seemed.
“Hey, if you were in his position,” Bobby spoke, “I’m sure you’d want in on the con to get revenge.” Yep, there was reason in that head.
“Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.” Garth said, looking a little uneasy. Guess he didn’t want to see a fight erupt between Crowley and Dean. And just by knowing as little as he did about the two of them, it wouldn’t be pretty.
Crowley smirked across at Dean. Obviously he’d be feeling pretty smug. His team was agreeing with him, showing loyalty to their leader. The “king” part of his title made even more sense now. (And didn’t do much to help Castiel’s growing lust toward the man.)
“Fine, we’ll let him in.”
“Good. Now, I haven’t wanted to mention the name of this target to any of you in public. He has a whole network of people working for him in far, far too many aspects of life. It’s Richard Roman.”
Sam practically spit out the beer he was drinking. “Dick Roman?”
“I know, I was shocked when I heard it myself. I admired the man’s cunning, manipulative business skill, and then he orders to kill my old partner. Oh well. But it turns out Balthazar pulled a con a while back, one without you, kitten,” Crowley said, looking straight at Castiel. Kitten. He’d already gotten an animal nickname. “Thank goodness for that, or you’d have a torpedo on your back as well. But his score managed to take away a sizeable chunk of Dick’s profits.”
“How come I never heard Balthazar talk about such a score from Roman?” Castiel asked. “Surely he would never be able to stop gloating about that one.”
“He probably didn’t know it was Dick’s. After all, he took it from a man who worked for him farther down the food chain. Could’ve been one of those cons we used to pull where we just find someone on the street that looks rich and go.”
Castiel nodded in understanding. Those were pulled quite often between the two of them as well.
“When the news finally got back to him, he ordered a hit. Take down the man who robbed him of his company’s profits.”
“Take him down?” Bobby asked. “This is Dick Roman we’re talking about here! He’s the modern day Rockefeller or Carnegie!
“We can’t just con him out of a sum of money. That’s what got Balthazar killed. Unless you want me to make you all walking targets, and in that case, get some help for your suicidal tendencies. No, we’re going to make him confess. Lock him up. We’ve done this kind of thing before.”
“Yeah, but he didn’t have as big of an empire as Dick Roman!”
“True. Doesn’t mean we can’t pull it off. So, what do you say we start this off?”
Why did this have to happen to him? All Castiel was doing was trying to get on the good side of Dick’s assistant, to become friends with the man for the sake of the con. Granted, Castiel wasn’t the best at this kind of thing, but he managed to get by. Somehow his social skills were always slightly improved when he put on the façade of some other character. Tonight (and for the rest of the con) he was Jimmy Novak, a seller of ad space.
But then the man he was cozying up to bought him a drink.
Castiel drank the one out of courtesy, but after that, he had to continually refuse the rest. “Please, I rarely indulge, I’m a holy man, I don’t believe in abusing alcohol.” Over and over again he had to resist, and he felt like maybe he wasn’t going to win this guy over after all. As it turned out though…”I like you, Castiel. You don’t buckle under pressure, you stick to what you want. I bet you could go far in the world of high-end business.”
“Oh, thank you.”
After that stunning victory, Castiel couldn’t wait to get back home to tell Crowley the good news.
Yes, the two of them were sharing an apartment for the sake of the con. Their characters were cousins, and Crowley was supposed to be the one that just moved into the country and doesn’t have a home to call his own yet. So they’re sharing a place for the moment.
Castiel agreed because he honestly didn’t think it could be that bad, living with Crowley. He could handle it surely. Except he wasn’t counting on walking into the apartment to find the man in just a towel.
“Wh-why?” Castiel asked as he entered the apartment. He couldn’t get himself to look away like any decent man would. No, instead he just stared as the expanse of his chest and stomach, at his arms and as much of his legs that were exposed. It was too much. Was he even able to breathe at the moment?
“Don’t think I haven’t noticed the way you stare at me, Cas. I’m a con man. Part of what I do for a living is read people’s expressions. And yours seems to scream over and over again that you just want to fuck me.”
“The feeling’s mutual, ducky.” In an absolutely trashy display, Crowley let the towel fall to the floor, revealing the hardening cock underneath. It took all of Castiel’s strength not to moan like a little whore at the sight. Crowley displayed out all for him, all for the taking. His pants were already starting to feel far too tight.
“I can’t!” Castiel burst out, finally getting himself to turn himself away from the site. A complete 180 spin so that he was facing the front door.
“What do you mean you can’t?”
“This is wrong! All of it! We’re two men, this shouldn’t be! And even if we weren’t, if I was a woman or if you were instead, we’re partners! This isn’t the place for sexual relations!”
“Yeah, and the Winchesters aren’t fucking each other behind our backs. Castiel, we’re con men. We already do things that are wrong. Are you really going to let that stop you from experiencing the pleasure you oh-so crave?”
Castiel wanted Crowley. He really, truly did. But could he?
“Come on, Cas,” Crowley spoke, suddenly right up against him. “Have your way with me.” Oh, that voice was going to be the absolute death of him. It was melted sex. “Pound into me over and over and over again until I come screaming your name.”
That was it. Castiel spun around, grabbed Crowley by the shoulders, and pinned him to the nearest wall. “Oh, you’re going to be screaming more than that when I’m through with you.”
Castiel felt like he had just been flying. God, he hit the highest peak with that orgasm. All that pent up sexual frustration he’d been feeling, gone.
“Cas,” Crowley said beneath him, “I think this is going to be the start of something absolutely beautiful.”
“I agree, Crowley. I completely agree.” He lifted himself up a little off of Crowley’s chest and kissed him for emphasis.
“Let’s just hope the fellow tenants didn’t hear any of that. Or else we’d be some pretty twisted cousins.”.